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Divorce divides photo archives

Rogers’ wife’s lot worth millions by David Smith | October 31, 2014 at 1:53 a.m.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/CARY JENKINS Donna Hardcastle, John Rogers and Errin Dean

The divorce settlement of John Rogers of North Little Rock, who owns several photo archive businesses, cost him millions of dollars.

In a filing in Pulaski County Circuit Court last week, Rogers gave his wife full ownership of Photo Archives LLC, which had been jointly owned by the two and includes more than 60 million photos and negatives from about 50 newspapers.

John Rogers estimated last month that the business is worth at least $300 million.

Additionally, Angelica Rogers received full ownership of another archive business, Photo Archive Partners LLC; Sports Cards Plus Inc., which includes rare sports cards and memorabilia; four business properties in North Little Rock; the couple's $2.5 million home; and a 2012 Mercedes.

Angelica Rogers got custody of the couple's three children, and John Rogers received visitation and parenting time.

John Rogers agreed to be responsible for all past debts associated with Photo Archive Partners and Sports Card Plus. He also will be responsible for two loans totaling $283,900 taken out in 2014.

John Rogers got full ownership of a home in Welcome Home, an unincorporated community in Searcy County; a 2003 GMC Yukon; and a 1975 Cadillac El Dorado convertible. He also kept ownership of RP LLC, another photo archive business he formed recently, and a business known as Legendary Auction House.

Both agreed that neither one would owe alimony.

John Rogers, who approved the transfers in writing, did not appear at the final divorce proceeding and did not hire an attorney to represent him.

He declined to comment. John Coulter, attorney for Angelica Rogers, also did not return a phone call.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary in the distribution of property in the Rogers' divorce, said Michael Flannery, a professor of law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. Flannery acknowledged that he is not familiar with the details of the divorce.

"Generally there is a presumption that distribution of marital property would be split evenly," Flannery said. "Generally parties that are married will accumulate marital property and the court will put some value on that. Then they will distribute that. So, oftentimes, to come to some agreement about what is equitable in dividing marital property, you can offset the actual property with other property in lieu of spousal support. The distribution doesn't have to be equal."

In addition, First Arkansas Bank & Trust of Jacksonville, which has sued John Rogers for more than $14.2 million in unpaid loans, filed a motion for default judgment on Tuesday because Rogers did not respond to the lawsuit within 30 days. Angelica Rogers was not named in the lawsuit.

Representatives for the bank did not return calls.

In January, dozens of FBI agents searched John Rogers' office and home and seized many of his photographs. What led to the search, Rogers said last month, was his participation in an obstruction-of -justice investigation which concluded in charges against a business partner, Doug Allen of Chicago, and two others. Two of the men pleaded guilty.

"We have a lot of memorabilia and assets still in [the FBI's] possession that we've requested to get back," Rogers said last month. "Some have been transferred to Chicago, and we're hoping to get them back in the near future."

No charges have been filed against Rogers in the investigation.

Some of those assets were used as collateral on loans Rogers had with First Arkansas Bank & Trust.

Business on 10/31/2014

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